Jul 3, 2017
Have you ever created a marketing plan and struggled with
demonstrating results? When starting a marketing plan,
companies often start with this question… “What is it we want to
tell the customer about our products or services?” Instead of
focusing on your company first, answer the question “What is it our
customers really want and how do we solve for what they need?” The
difference in approach can make a big impact on results.
Does this sound familiar to you?
- Marketing success but has been inconsistent and it depends on
the product division.
- You aren’t sure how to align strategy and goals to
- Leadership is not always aware of the direct impact marketing
has on sales at trade shows.
These tips will help you create the ultimate marketing plan so
you can have consistent results every event.
8 Steps to Creating a
Results Driven Marketing Plan
- Start with a Pre-Marketing Plan.
Before evaluating where you want to
go, it is important to know where you
- Know The Company Culture: What role is marketing planning in
Sales? Does marketing collaborate closely with sales?
- Understand Leadership: How do they view face to face marketing?
Do they see it as an extension of the sales process? Or do they not
believe in it? If you have support for face to face
- Meet with Key Stakeholders: Get buy-in from stakeholders when
you present plan and execute the plan
- Bring two groups together-sales and marketing (for added help
you can take this free survey)
- Include All Segments Of Your Organization: Be sure to include
Procurement and Sales in the process
- Reverse Engineer Your Plan.
Look at what your customers want
- Confirm customer pain points: What are they struggling with and
how do you solve it?
- Ask for input from Sales: What were the most frequently asked
questions from customers in the field?
- Create Customer Profiles: Once you know the customer concerns,
put them into categories and create a customer avatar profile based
on decision levels. There might be 3-5 people for each product
category and the key is to know what is important to each of
- Decide What You are Solving For: Each customer avatar is
different, be sure to include all types or you will miss out
- Set SMART Goals.
Goals need to be specific,
measurable, achievable, relevant and time
- Start with what success looks like-be specific: are you looking
for impressions, leads (to really track success it isn’t the
quantity of leads it is the number of contacts made post show that
will directly drive sales), revenue, etc. If you have a long sales
cycle the goal might be number of touch points with the customer,
and not just one follow up interaction.
- How will you track and measure the goals that you have
established. What tools do you need in place to monitor the data
collected? How will you work with sales to measure against
the goals you set up
- Are the goals that you established achievable? If your sales
teams need training, be sure that is part of the tactics so that
you can achieve the level of follow up for example that is
- Go back to the original reverse engineering and confirm if
these goals are relevant to your customer and do they tie back to
the solutions for your customers.
- Establish the time frame for how the goals are measured-how
soon post-show do you need to show results?
- Establish Your Tactics to Achieve
- Work with Sales leadership to create a call to action for your
sales team-here is what they need to do before, during and post
- Establish The Environment: Each size exhibit environment should
allow attendees to easily understand your solution and why it
matters to them.
- Engagement Tools for Your Sales Team: Help sales reps by giving
them unique ways to Attract, Connect and Engage with the target
- Make sure the tactics in place link to the SMART goals you
- Align Strategy and Measurement to Key
- Make sure product managers, sales, marketing and finance are
- Offer strategies to train the onsite sales team. Share
observations from the show floor and recommend ways the sales reps
- The pre-plan of getting leadership input and support really has
an impact at this stage. Sales Reps will rise to the occasion when
they know that their performance matters to leadership.
- Create A Budget Plan
- Follow internal budgeting procedures-tack if the budget tie
back to an overall yearly budget or to a specific budget.
- Adjust metrics to reflect the show. Not all face-to-face
environments include sales; for some it is about image and
- Evaluate performance based on the metrics. Demonstrate how the
data ties back to the goals even if sales didn’t happen at the show
or post show, it is important to have a “why” for attending the
show related to the budget spend.
- Post show perform a budget audit and review how close the end
result stayed on track. Identify areas that may have increased or
decreased the total amount.
- Host Strategic Planning Meetings
- Bring together all of the stakeholders. Reiterate goals and
calls to action to achieve the plan.
- Include agencies so they are able to support marketing goals
- This meeting serves as a checkpoint to ensure alignment of all
stakeholders and agencies.
- Share Success
- Send out a post-show survey to all participants of every
- Hold a post-show meeting with stakeholders and discuss the
strategy, goals and results.
- Schedule quarterly meetings with leadership to demonstrate your
marketing plan’s success.
- Include data from post show survey from the event: what worked,
where there is room for improvement and share how goals and metrics
are achieving the desired results.
Be sure to visit Rock Your Trade Show
to get the free download of this plan! If you have a question
or would like help with your marketing plan please contact me, I love
hearing from you! As always, if you liked what you heard, please
share this with a friend or colleague.
Thank you to Christy Haussler and Team Podcast